Re: Click X, or click the X button?

Subject: Re: Click X, or click the X button?
From: Janice Gelb <Janice -dot- Gelb -at- Sun -dot- COM>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 08:13:33 +1100

Chris Despopoulos wrote:
> Whether you *want* users to skim and click has little to do with whether they *do* skim and click. In fact I'm sure they will, no matter how deeply you bury the information (not that you're actually burying the info -- there's no accusation in this statement). I'm also more of an anarchist, in that I believe people want to do the right thing, and they generally do (so long as the political system doesn't give them incentive to maintain a coercive status quo). In other words, I believe users will indeed skim, and if they find a button to click that they don't understand, they'll go back to the docs and learn about it. (And as true anarchists, they'll feel like usurping your authority if all you say is, "To foo the bar, click foo.")

That doesn't mean we need to encourage them by
calling out GUI items.

I'm not saying that readers aren't going to skim
anyway, just that I don't think that calling out
GUI items to encourage them to do so is a good idea.
I'd prefer not to lead them astray by implying that
they can just merrily click items and press buttons
without reading any explanatory information - sometimes
such behavior causes inescapable consequences so going
back to the docs afterward to find out what they did
is not always a solution.

-- Janice

Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with
janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com | this message is the return address


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Re: Click X, or click the X button?: From: Chris Despopoulos

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